Basic RV Terms Every RVer Should Know

Basic RV Terms Every RVer Should Know

Basic RV Terms Every RVer Should Know


Are you new to RVing? If so, chances are that you've noticed a certain lexicon of words and phrases that other RV enthusiasts throw about regularly. Do you not want to appear like a newbie, but have no clue what people are talking about? Look no further! Here is a crash course in RV terminology 101.


Dry Camping - Camping without hookups for electricity, water or sewage.

Boondocking - Dry camping in remote areas, typically with no fees associated for camping.

Moochdocking - Dry camping for free on someone else's property, like a driveway belonging to a friend or relative.

Gray Water - Waste water that goes down the sink, shower or bath.

Black Water - Waste water and waste that goes down the toilet.

Shore Power - Electrical hookup for power, often in the absence of water and waste water hookup.

Full Hookup (FHU) - A campsite that has RV hookup for electricity, water, and sewage.

Converter - A device that changes 110v AC power into 12v DC power.

Inverter -  A device that changes 12v battery power to 110v AC power.

Dinghy or Toad - A vehicle that is towed behind an RV.

Dry Weight - The weight of an RV without any fuel, fresh water, waste water, propane, passengers or supplies.

Dual Electrical System (DES) - An RV electrical system that runs both hookup electricity and/or self-contained battery or generator power.

Dump Station - Location where gray water and black water tanks can be emptied.

Full-Time (Full-Timer, Full-Timing) - Living full-time out of an RV.

Generator - A power supply that is run by gasoline, diesel, or propane to provide self-contained 110v AC electrical power to an RV.

Honey Wagon or Honey Dipper - A mobile service that will empty black water and/or gray water tanks from where you are camped if sewage hookup or dump station is not available.

Hula Skirt - A skirt installed on the rear bumper of a motorhome to prevent debris kick-up while driving.

Kingpin -  A device that connects a fifth wheel to a towing vehicle.

Reefer - Slang for refrigerator.

Rig - Slang for RV.

Self-Contained - An RV that is able to supply water, drain, and electrical needs without hookups.

Snow Bird - Someone who travels in an RV to warm climates during winter months.

Toy Hauler - An RV capable of indoor storage of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), motorcycles, golf carts, or other large recreational equipment.

Winterizing - The process of making an RV safe for winter storage.

Workamping (Workamper) - Working remotely to operate, contribute to, or volunteer either on-line or on-site, while living and traveling in an RV.

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